The Internet Governance Lab is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Rens will be joining us as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. In this capacity, he will be running a research program focused on technology governance of the Internet of Things. As Dr. Rens explains:
The Internet of Things raises complex issues of ownership and control, privacy, and surveillance, ubiquity, and fragility. Some press accounts narrate these issues as consumers versus corporations in which consent is key. But the Internet of Things is mostly the Internet of Other People’s Things, we interact with these Internet-connected objects as employees, students, tenants, and citizens. The things are not simply data input devices, however intrusive but technologies with immediate physical effects such as networked 3D printers. Questions around the governance of the Internet of Things (IoT) exhibit the same super complexity as Internet governance generally; with multiple sites of governance and actors operating across legal borders.
The IoT is promising for the developing world and digital inclusion. Through cheap sensors and the ability to fabricate equipment, the IoT may dramatically lower barriers to scientific experimentation. Every classroom could potentially be a laboratory. But will the Internet of Things be configured to optimize these possibilities? How will development and human rights be taken into account when governance is neither state nor corporate but takes place through technical standards, protocols and engineering organizations.
Who will control the “things” in the IoT and what will determine this control? Will it be intellectual property law or standards? Open source offers one way in which the people most affected by a technology can exercise some control over it. Open source software and its associated governance structures have proven resistant to control through intellectual property laws. Will a combination of open source software and open hardware prove similarly robust? Even if open source methods best enables innovation will it control the potentially pernicious uses such as printing guns with a 3D printer?
Rens earned a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) from Duke University Law School for research on using open copyright licenses in education. As a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship, he pioneered work on access to knowledge, IP law reform and open education in South Africa. Andrew Rens has been a fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, a research associate at the LINK Center at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the University of Cape Town Intellectual Property Law Research Unit. As founding Legal Lead of Creative Commons South Africa, he ported the South African licensing suite to South African law. He earned a Master of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand for research on Internet legal issues. He has taught Master’s courses in Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Space and Satellite, and Media and Information Technology Law at the Law School of the University of the Witwatersrand. He has also taught Telecommunications Law and Electronic Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cape Town Law School.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Rens to the Internet Governance Lab and AU and we look forward to hearing from him soon on the always evolving intersection of the IoT and Internet governance.
On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Ukranian cyber expert Andrii Paziuk will discuss “Digital Policy, Civil Rights, and Security” as part of the Internet Governance Lab’s Roundtable Speaker Series. The event will take place at 2:30 pm in McKinley Room 305.
As a 2017-18 Humphrey Fellow at AU’s Washington College of Law, Mr. Paziuk’s work draws on his experience in government, industry, and academia to explore questions focused on the intersection of cybersecurity, privacy, and transborder data flows.
Prior to joining AU Mr. Paziuk worked for the Parliament of Ukraine as a legal adviser and an assistant to Members of Parliament. Since 2012, Mr. Paziuk has been a lecturer and LL.M. program moderator of International Cyber Law at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He completed his Ph.D. thesis on the protection of privacy and personal data trans-border flows in 2004 and his post-doctoral thesis on International Cyber Law in 2016. Paziuk is also an adviser to the State Special Telecommunications and Information Protection Service, a member of the Steering Committee of Ukrainian National Internet Governance Forum, and co-founder and chairman of the NGO Partners for Digital Rights Defenders and Vice-President to the Ukrainian Academy of Cyber Security. His current research is focused on ‘The Rule of Law and Internet Governance’ exploring recent trends in digital policy and law, civil rights, and security issues.
Most Internet users are familiar with status code 404 “Not Found,” used when a requested web page is unavailable. Less recognizable, at least until recently, was status code 451, a new protocol standardized in 2016 and used to signal when a requested resource is unavailable “for legal reasons.” A reference to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, the new status code applies to resources inaccessible for a host of legal considerations, including national security, copyright violations, privacy, and local laws proscribing certain types of content (e.g. hate speech, blasphemy laws, etc.).
Last week, SOC Ph.D. Candidate and Internet Governance Law fellow Olga Khrustaleva, who this summer is working as an Internet of Rights fellow with Article 19, a London-based digital rights advocacy group, presented research at the 99th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Prague on the implications of status code 451 for human rights, both globally and in various national contexts. Using a web crawler that searches top-level resources for content being blocked or otherwise censored, the crawler reports any instances of 451 status codes and analyzes them to see what categories of content are being blocked where.
Using a web crawler that searches top-level resources for content being blocked or otherwise censored, the crawler reports any instances of 451 status codes and analyzes them to see what categories of content are being blocked where.
The researchers expect to augment these initial findings with data collected from the team’s browser extension, with the goal of extending the project to other national contexts going forward. As Ms. Khrustaleva explains, “status code 451 makes digital censorship more transparent and gives more clarity to the end users who get a better idea why the page they are trying to access is unavailable.” But understanding how the code is used and under what circumstances will help shed light on how content filtering is implemented across national contexts.
Joining the Internet Governance Lab as a Faculty Fellow, Dr. Eric Novotny is the Hurst Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service at American University. He is also Senior Advisor, Democracy, and Technology, at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this position, Dr. Novotny designs and manages a large portfolio of programs that use advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) to stimulate economic growth, improve democratic processes, and reform governance policies in developing countries. Some of these efforts are stand-alone technology and governance projects while others embed advanced ICTs in larger development projects in applied areas such as service delivery and critical infrastructure. USAID has assistance programs in 80 countries worldwide. He holds a B.A. in Political Science, and M.A. in Government, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Georgetown University, as well as an M.Phil in Management Studies from Oxford.
Dr. Novotny also serves as a faculty coordinator and coach for the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge (along with Washington College of Law professor Melanie Teplinksi), a global competition designed to “encourage and educate the next generation of foreign policy leaders in cyber security issues.” Sponsored by the Atlantic Council, the annual event features teams of students from universities around the world competing to analyze, synthesize, and respond to the technical, legal, and policy issues involved in a fictional cyber security related scenario. In 2017 46 teams from 35 universities participated with AU teams winning awards three out of the past five years.
As the Program Director for the School of International Service Masters program in US Foreign Policy and Security Studies in the Fall, Dr. Novotny will teach courses in International Communication and Cyber Security Policy. In this capacity, Dr. Novotny will also continue his research, which focuses broadly on the intersection of Cyber Security and Internet Freedom, including projects titled, “Building Anti-Censorship into the Core Internet Architecture,” “Cyber Security Risk Management for Non-governmental Organizations,” and “Cyber Cabalities and Interference in the Electoral Process.”
The Internet Governance Lab at American University invites applications for a one-year post-doctoral Research Faculty appointment for Academic Year 2017-2018. The appointment is a 12-month term position and will begin Sept. 1, 2017.
QUALIFICATIONS The Internet Governance Lab is an intellectual center providing policy-engaged thought leadership that advances the marketplace of ideas with original research, informs policy-makers and the public about complex sociotechnical problems, convenes diverse stakeholders, and educates the next generation of global thought leaders in Internet governance. American University is globally recognized for housing some of the world’s pioneering and leading scholars whose work has helped build and shape the scholarly field of Internet governance over the past decades.
The Internet Governance Lab post-doctoral fellowship is designed for scholars whose research specializes in global Internet policy and who are recent graduates of doctoral programs in communication, public policy, international relations, science and technology studies, media studies, information science, engineering, computer science, as well as recent law school graduates. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to: conduct original, policy-engaged research; to participate in and administratively support the activities of the Lab; and to engage in collaborative projects with Faculty Directors, doctoral students, and Lab affiliates. Area of Internet governance concentration is open but could include cybersecurity, Internet protocols, Internet of Things, access and interconnection, privacy, human rights, infrastructure studies, the Domain Name System, policies of private intermediaries, cyberconflict, freedom of expression, innovation, institutions of Internet governance, or intellectual property rights.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS Applicants for the resident fellowship must have completed their Ph.D., J.D. or equivalent terminal degree in a relevant field (communication, public policy, international relations, science and technology studies, media studies, information science, engineering, computer science, or law) before beginning the fellowship. Fluency in English is required. This is a research-focused fellowship and does not require teaching. All faculty are expected to hold office hours and participate in School and University activities and service.
Salary is $50,000. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled, subject to ongoing budgetary approval. Please submit applications via Interfolio. Include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, recent teaching evaluations (when available), and copies of recently published papers or working papers. Please contact Aisha Green, Faculty Coordinator, 202-885-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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